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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 2, 2010 4:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

With all due respect, Jack Kerouac was sending a message of intellectual and personal freedom a considerable amount of time before Ken Kesey came on the scene.

Kesey, Cassady, and the Pranksters were their peers and contemporaries and because of their partnership in the Acid Tests and beyond were even more influential than Kerouac.

I do enjoy Burroughs and Ginsberg, too. Everyone has their own preference, but I find that the Beat Generation cannot be fully understood without a study of the works of all of the authors that belonged to this group of friends.

Kerouac may have been an alcoholic and surly at times, but he was also capable of producing beautiful gospel like poetic prose. Burroughs was a heroin junkie, does that make him so much better? He also shot his own wife... but I agree he was a great writer, presenting the darker side of life, IMO. Ginsberg was a great sensitive soul and provided the most lucid cultural commentaries of the three.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 2, 2010 5:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

I think that regardless of our take on JackK, it has been mentioned many a time by Jerry et al. that he was an important influence...along with his "descendant", JCass...right? I recall Jerry even mentioning that one of the things about Brent that kept him "apart" was his lack of interest in reading...I think that having OTRd in your backpocket was the kind of comment Jerry made in this respect (ie, expecting such behavior from Brent, and being disappointed).

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Feb 2, 2010 5:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

I wasn't commenting on his writing,he seemed to me to lead a rather pathetic normal American male lifestyle,that of a drunken small minded unhappy person.Not knowing the members of the GD,I don't feel comfortable speaking or thinking for them like some many here on the forum do,but I would be pretty sure that they would be more attuned to Kesey's trip since they were friends with him and in actuality lived in a very similar manner.As for your point on W.S.B.'s shooting his wife or heroin addiction I fail to see the relevance,I don't recall taking a pro heroin or wife murdering stance.As for Ginsberg,I can't have any respect for a grown man who wears finger cymbals and chants Hare Krisna nonsense.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 2, 2010 8:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

I responded with some factoids about Burroughs personal life because you brought up Kerouac's issues. And you did comment on his writing, simply by stating that Burroughs was better on every level, so I was compelled to respond on both of those issues.

Personal issues aside, the original poster asked if Kerouac's Big Sur had much impact on the GD during their formative years and I responded to that question. I do not think that I know Jerry well enough to speak for him or think for him, but I have read enough biographical works about him to know a little.

If you don't believe me, do your own research. "Garcia: An American Life" by Blair Jackson is one of the best, if not the best and most thorough biographies of JG available. Check out all the times that Kerouac is referenced in this book here and read the context and you will see where I am coming from: http://books.google.ca/books?id=JouSOka9hFEC&;printsec=frontcover&dq=blair+jackson+garcia&source=bl&ots=UK3vw_6UI8&sig=uEY0c62uMID2-7IZQs_sHofIhYA&hl=en&ei=G_1oS_I3ypaUB6iijI4I&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=kerouac&f=true

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Feb 2, 2010 10:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

It's understood that his writing had some impact on Jerry,I was not disputing that,I take issue with the extent his influence might have had on their music as opposed to your take on it.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 2, 2010 10:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Thank you for clarifying. The language I used in implying Kerouac's spontaneous prose as a direct model for Garcia's soloing style was too strong and I should have added an IMHO. Still, I think Kerouac's writing was important to the formation of Garcia's artistic aesthetics.

I quote a relevant passage from "Garcia" during which he speaks of the impact that Ken Nordine's word-jazz albums had on him and then cites Kerouac as being an influence.

"You've got to go back to seventeen-year-old-me growing up in the Bay Area when I first heard Ken's record - "Word Jazz" and "Son of Word Jazz". For me, listening to those records was like a religious experience. It was not only a completely different way of thinking, but a fantastic combination of words and music that wasn't songs. It wasn't poetry and it wasn't songs exactly and it was wonderfully peculiar. It was like the kinds of things you think that only you think about, maybe. That was from a time in my life I was reading Kerouac and I first started smoking pot somewhere in there; a lot of things that were formative and significant and helped build my own sense of aesthetics from from right there."

The extent to which these experiences influenced Garcia's playing is definitely up for debate, but they show that he indeed did cite Kerouac as an influence. As he states himself, his outlook on art in general was significantly impacted in part by Kerouac's writing. There are many more references in the book regarding this author's influence on his lifestyle in general.

To your credit, Burroughs was cited a number of times in this book but never directly by Garcia. He was cited by Kesey in 1964 as being one of the people trying to do "it" in a new way, so yes Burroughs was definitely a respected artist in the Prankster circles that the GD were part of. I am also certain Garcia read Burroughs and enjoyed his work, but for some reason there is no recorded public statement of this credit. If you could enlighten me as to any of the sources that influenced your opinion that he was a greater influence than Kerouac, I would be humbly put in my place and rightfully so.

Thanks for engaging in discussion :)

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Feb 3, 2010 10:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

I was not implying a direct correlation between Burroughs and Garcia,it just seems to me if he was going to be influenced by a beat authors lifestyle he would have more in common with Burroughs.Time frame wise Junky was published in 53' and the more adventurous Naked Lunch in 59',so they too could have been read in Jerry's impressionable years along with On the Road in 57'.I read in a book about Garcia that they did meet in the 80's in Amsterdam when the Dead were there for those Melk Weg shows,that is the only interaction I'm aware of.It was fun conversing with you on this subject,it's always good to take in new perspectives and information.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 3, 2010 12:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Have you seen the Naked Lunch movie???

Here's an excerpt of the asshole that talked scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKk0eFiHYpg

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 3, 2010 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

ORNETTE COLEMAN! - did the soundtrack. It all comes back to Kevin Bacon (or is that Jer?)

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 3, 2010 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Wow, I had no idea bout Ornette Coleman soundtrack credits! Cool!

This is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen, and appropriately so! Love the scene where he is an exterminator and his wife gets all addicted to roach poison.

Where does the Hollow Man fit in?

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 3, 2010 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

It has been fun - I really appreciate it when peers are able to be respectfully critical of each other's ideas/actions. This kind of honesty does wonders for self-awareness and growth :)

I have to say, I love Burroughs' work. I read Junky in a couple days as I just couldn't put it down. Naked Lunch was my introduction to him and I thought of it as my "black bible" in part because the cover of the copy I had was completely black without any text on the outside. And then when you opened it up it was full of grotesque yet profound revelation about human nature and society in general...

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 3, 2010 12:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

The lavatory has been locked for three hours solid…. I think they are using it for an operating room….

NURSE: “I can’t find her pulse, doctor.”

DR. BENWAY: “Maybe she got it up her snatch in a finger stall.”

NURSE: “Adrenalin, doctor?”

DR. BENWAY: “The night porter shot it all up for kicks.” He looks around and picks up one of those rubber vacuum cups at the end of a stick they use to unstop toilets…. He advances on the patient…. “Make an incision, Doctor Limpf,” he says to his appalled assistant…. “I’m going to massage the heart.”

Dr. Limpf shrugs and begins the incision. Dr. Benway washes the suction cup by swishing it around in the toilet-bowl….

NURSE: “Shouldn’t it be sterilized, doctor?”

DR. BENWAY: “Very likely but there’s no time.” He sits on the suction cup like a cane seat watching his assistant make the incision…. “You young squirts couldn’t lance a pimple without an electric vibrating scalpel with automatic drain and suture…. Soon we’ll be operating by remote control on patients we never see…. We’ll be nothing but button pushers. All the skill is going out of surgery…. All the know-how and make-do… Did I ever tell you about the time I performed an appendectomy with a rusty sardine can? And once I was caught short without instrument one and removed a uterine tumor with my teeth. That was in the Upper Effendi, and besides…”

DR. LIMPF: “The incision is ready, doctor.”

Dr. Benway forces the cup into the incision and works it up and down. Blood spurts all over the doctors, the nurse and the wall…. The cup makes a horrible sucking sound.

NURSE: “I think she’s gone, doctor.”

DR. BENWAY: “Well, it’s all in the day’s work.” He walks across the room to a medicine cabinet…. “Some fucking drug addict has cut my cocaine with Saniflush! Nurse! Send the boy out to fill this RX on the double!”

Dr. Benway is operating in an auditorium filled with students: “Now, boys, you won’t see this operation performed very often and there’s a reason for that…. You see it has absolutely no medical value. No one knows what the purpose of it originally was or if it had a purpose at all. Personally I think it was a pure artistic creation from the beginning.

“Just as a bull fighter with his skill and knowledge extricates himself from danger he has himself invoked, so in this operation the surgeon deliberately endangers his patient, and then, with incredible speed and celerity, rescues him from death at the last possible split second…. Did any of you ever see Dr. Tetrazzini perform? I say perform advisedly because his operations were performances. He would start by throwing a scalpel across the room into the patient and then make his entrance like a ballet dancer. His speed was incredible: ‘I don’t give them time to die,’ he would say. Tumors put him in a frenzy of rage. ‘Fucking undisciplined cells!’ he would snarl, advancing on the tumor like a knife-fighter.”

A young man leaps down into the operating theatre and, whipping out a scalpel, advances on the patient.

DR. BENWAY: “An espontaneo! Stop him before he guts my patient!”

(Espontaneo is a bull-fighting term for a member of the audience who leaps down into the ring, pulls out a concealed cape and attempts a few passes with the bull before he is dragged out of the ring.)

The orderlies scuffle with the espontaneo, who is finally ejected from the hall. The anesthetist takes advantage of the confusion to pry a large gold filling from the patient’s mouth….

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 2, 2010 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

One thing folks are overlooking is that Kerouac was one of the first authors thrust in front of the public as a "voice of the Beat generation" and was on the Tonight Show and getting all types of media attention - long before that was common. His later writings reflect his problems with being in the spotlight. It contributed in a big way to him becoming a surly drunk; was hard for him (based on his writings) to feel like he deserved the attention. Those freakin' catholics and their guilt spilled in and out of bottles.....
Big Sur touches upon the same (when he went to Ferlinghetti's cabin below Bixby Bridge to dry out).
BTW, Robert Hunter is in the documentary re same:
http://www.kerouacfilms.com/onefastmove/kerouac_index.html

http://www.kerouacfilms.com/onefastmove/Robert_Hunter.html
"We interviewed Robert in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District behind the desk of an SRO hotel. He provided many insightful perspectives on Big Sur as well as an infectious enthusiasm and passion for Kerouac’s work."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzCF6hgEfto


This post was modified by bluedevil on 2010-02-03 02:34:23

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 2, 2010 7:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Yep; nowadays you can find the quotes and such much more readily, but however I picked it up, from the early 70s on I had a vision of JK and therefore JC, as well as KK, being critically important to Jerry, esp, given his SF background and interest in the Beats...so I always took it as a given too...seems most have indicated as much above.
And Hunter as well, as you corroborate...thx.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 2, 2010 6:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

From the car's perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyrm6_fAjcs&;feature=related

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Poster: snori Date: Feb 3, 2010 2:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

I have a great deal of respect for Ginsberg. I believe the influence he had on Bob Dylan changed the way lyrics were written in popular music for ever. The use of words in odd juxtapositions and imagery such as this from Howl 'angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,' were taken up by Dylan in songs like Gates of Eden 'The motorcycle black madonna Two-wheeled gypsy queen And her silver-studded phantom cause The gray flannel dwarf to scream'.

And thereafter by Lennon, Hunter, and countless others. It was OK to set poetry to music, or call your band Jefferson Airplane etc.

I'll put up with finger cymbals and Hare Krishna for this great leap forward.

This post was modified by snori on 2010-02-03 10:33:51

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Feb 3, 2010 12:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Wouldn't that change in the songwriting format be attributed to Dylan,since he actually wrote the words and put them to music.I don't recall Ginsburg writing any groundbreaking songs,he just influenced another poets way of expressing himself.

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Feb 4, 2010 7:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

"I have a great deal of respect for Ginsberg."

Sorry, can't get past NAMBLA.


TOOTMO

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Poster: BVD Date: Feb 2, 2010 6:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dharma Bums

Lets not forget that 18 years before Cassady hooked up with Kesey he had met Kerouc and Ginsberg and they became best of friends for years. Cassady and Kerouac influenced each other, so in turn by the time Cassady becam Cowboy Neal he brought some of that influence with him. I think Kerouc had a profound effect on Garcia and Kesey.